Flyers look to slow down the red-hot Penguins
The Philadelphia Flyers (13-14-6) take on the Pittsburgh Penguins (19-8-5) still without Claude Giroux and Ivan Provorov. Derrick Brassard makes his long-anticipated return to the lineup and Egor Zamula is set to make his season debut. You can catch the game only on ESPN+ or Hulu because the NHL hates us.
The Flyers are still without Sean Couturier (upper body) and Ryan Ellis (lower body) for the foreseeable future.
Carter Hart got the nod in his first game back after dealing with the flu and COVID in back-to-back weeks. Hart saved 26 of 30 and was yet again the only reason that game wasn’t over in the 2nd period. He didn’t have to stand on his head as bad as he and Martin Jones usually do, but the Flyers generate zero high-danger chances for him the other way.
Hart is currently 7-9-4 on the season, with a 2.75 GAA and a .917 SV%. It hasn’t been announced who’s starting against the high-flying Penguins, but I’d assume it’s going to be Hart.
Travis Konecny and Travis Sanheim were both added to the COVID protocol list after Tuesdays game against the Ducks. The Flyers now have Claude Giroux, Ivan Provorov, Nick Seeler, Jackson Cates, Travis Sanheim, and Travis Konecny all on the list.
It’ll be nice to finally get Brassard back tonight. He’s been dealing with a hip injury since December 8th and even found himself on the COVID list himself during his rehab. Brassard has 4G-7A-11P in 18 games so far this season and will bring some much-needed help on Morgan Frosts’ line tonight.
Yeah, it’s basically the Phantoms vs Penguins tonight, but I can’t sit here and say I’m not excited to watch Zamula battle. He’s a 6’3, undrafted defenseman, that can skate like the wind. He needs to put a little more muscle on his frame and learn how to use his size to his advantage more, but he’s a really fun and intriguing prospect. He’ll be paired with Rasmus Ristolainen tonight.
I honestly can’t think of another defensive pair besides Coburn – Grossmann that we’ve had that’s this tall. These are two huge dudes that can both skate really well. I’m excited to watch them both tonight.
I don’t mean any disrespect, I’m sure Bunny is a great guy, but I honestly forgot he was still with the team. He was called up along with Zamula this morning to replace Konecny and Sanheim in the lineup and will be on the same line as Kevin Hayes and Max Willman.
I have no idea why Oskar Lindblom is on the 4th line and Bunnaman gets thrown with Hayes and Willman, but I guess that’s why I’m not the coach and instead here writing this preview.
I honestly don’t care what anyone says, Cam York did more in his first game this season than Keith Yandle has done all year. Call me a hater, call me annoying, I honestly don’t care. York played 20:22 and recorded 2 shots, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots.
York had one play where he completely stood up Troy Terry coming into the zone with speed and I actually had to ask myself if a Flyers defenseman (other than Risto) is allowed to do that. He is the smallest defenseman on the team by far and still isn’t afraid to get physical, I love it.
Flyers Lineup vs Pittsburgh
Joel Farabee – Scott Laughton – Cam Atkinson
Derick Brassard – Morgan Frost – James van Riemsdyk
Connor Bunnaman – Kevin Hayes – Max Willman
Oskar Lindblom – Patrick Brown – Zack MacEwen
Cam York – Justin Braun
Egor Zamula – Rasmus Ristolainen
Keith Yandle – Kevin Connauton
Carter Hart/Martin Jones
Since coming back from that little pause, the Flyers power play has been absolutely abysmal. It’s not anything new to our fans, but going 2/12 in your last 4 games isn’t ideal. Yeah I know they we are missing Claude Giroux right now, but that was only the last game, what’s your excuse for the other 3 before that? I’ll wait.
I watch other teams whip the puck around with will, as to where our power play looks like it’s being run in slow motion.
If you’re feeling a win, the Flyers ML is at +195 on Parx Sportsbook. The Penguins have won 9 straight games, so maybe the spread (+1.5) at -124 is the better move.
Mandatory Credit: Zack Hill -Flyers PR